I've owned an S10 since '16 new. During that same time, I've also had 2 ea Suz. DRZ400's, a KTM 690 Enduro, a Yam WR450F, a Suz. WeeStrom 650, and a Suz. DR650. The DR650 was the wife's ride.
The S10 and the DR650 remain, all the others have moved on. I mention this because for me, that they remain speaks to the strengths of these two cycles compared to the others.
I keep looking at the current crop of 1200 cc cycles, and read about the ownership experience, all encompassing. That is, the non-riding aspects are included in my view as I mull swapping out the S10. Some guys enjoy setting up new cycles with all the farkle stuff they desire to attach. I'm OK with doing that, but it does not bring me enjoyment to do it, only satisfaction that it's done. Thats part of the non-riding ownership aspect, and so is this social media and/or forum aspect. Thats part of the strength I'm referring to. This S10 forum is wonderful to me, and I'm kinda sad to see it become less popular. I understand the forces that are causing it, but it still saddens me.
I'm talking about this so the OP will understand when I say there is more to this business than just choosing the steed. You're gonna choose how to care for it. Either yourself, or a shop will do it. The consequences of not doing it / ignoring it (the maintenance) is severe. You go through a couple "riding experiences" that would not have occurred had the maintenance been done right / on time / at all, and you will change your mind and start maintaining the cycle. It becomes part of the cycle selection process, or the Darwin process, take your pick.
The S10 remains in my stable because it remains an *awesome* cycle compared to even the current crop of 1200 cc motorcycles, for my riding style. This forum remains a testament to why that's still true, to why it's still an awesome cycle.
On to the T7.
My riding still includes terrain that the T7, and my skill set, can manage. Desert or Mountain 2-Track, or graded forest service road, or sand up to 6" deep (which I call "medium" sand). Rocks baseball to baby head size. I will climb a 30 deg. slope containing any of the above surfaces, with embedded dog-legs. I dont ride single track anymore. I dont race motocross, or hare 'n hound. So, that kind of terrain. Call it Class "B to B+". 50/50 tires stuff.
I started the T7 discussion talking about my skill set, and the type of terrain I'm interested in riding. I notice the OP does not speak to this at all in his posts. But, he sure is interested in mid size to large cycles! Thats OK, I hope he does not kill himself. It tempers what I can tell him, or what I think he can hear.
I'm an older guy, I'm gonna age out sooner than later. But, I'm mulling replacing the DR650. The candidates become, for me: 1) the T7, 2) the Aprilia Tuareg 660, 3) the Ducati Desert X. There were many others in my selection, they have fallen out: The Triumph Tiger series. The BMW series (still looking at these). The KTM series. The Honda series (Just found out about a possible TransAlp 750 from this thread, and I'm interested in it. Thanks for the tip!)
The OP has already received a good deal of great advice from this thread, even without knowing what terrain he wants to ride, or his skillset. A Tall CG Matters. A High Seat Matters. One High Side and You Will Believe Me. So, I decided to speak about things not mentioned yet.
Like Horsepower and torque figures. Over the years, I have come to understand that *my* riding style dictates a HP and TQ limit. I can ride pretty well within an envelope of about 40-80 HP. If the cycle offers more than that on tap, then I look for a programmable mode that will peel off the excess for me. They call it "Enduro" mode now, almost all of the big manufacturers offer this program mode. Off road, any off road, and I need Enduro mode. My chance of severe injury or death, and I mean me dying, goes up exponentially with the increase in HP.
Heat matters to me. Quite a few of the current crop of cycles are eliminated from my selection based on how much heat the cycle will direct at my legs, or torso. The Tuareg 660 is barely hanging on my list because of this aspect. It can be solved with a very expensive "closed course" exhaust header. Read "very expensive" there. So, that Italian becomes closer to $16-17K OTD.
Aftermarket parts support, maintenance costs, blah blah blah.
You want us to tell you our opinion of what you should buy first, if anything? OK, tell us what / where kind of riding you want to do? Give us a couple sentences about your riding experience. If you do this, I believe you will find the results more beneficial to you, the feedback better for you.